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Publication numberUS3539414 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 10, 1970
Filing dateMar 11, 1968
Priority dateMar 16, 1967
Also published asDE6606707U
Publication numberUS 3539414 A, US 3539414A, US-A-3539414, US3539414 A, US3539414A
InventorsLefort Alfred
Original AssigneeRhone Poulenc Sa
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Labelling apparatus
US 3539414 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 10, 1970 A. LEFORT LABELLING APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 11, 1968 lnvenlor W y wa f $114 Allorney Nov. 10, 1970 A. LEFORT LABELLING APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 11. 1968 A tlorneys B @MLma m, 3 M4 Nov. 10, 1970 A. LEFORT 3,5

LABELLING APPARATUS Filed March 11, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 I nven lor Attorneys United States Patent 9 3,539,414 LABELLING APPARATUS Alfred Lefort, Brunoy, Essonne, France, assignor to Rhone-Poulenc S.A., Paris, France, a French body corporate Filed Mar. 11, 1968, Ser. No. 712,243 Claims priority, application France, Mar. 16, 1967, 99 100 Int. Cl. 1332b US. Cl. 156364 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention relates to labelling apparatus.

Many types of labelling apparatus are already known, most of them using separate labels supplied in packs. It is known that this kind of supply makes it necessary to provide machines using reciprocating movements, which limits their speed of operation, in addition to other disadvantages.

Therefore, it has been thought desirable to supply the labels in reels, in most cases with the successive labels separated by a line of perforations or by a tear oif starting point, the labels being detached by tearing when the strip of labels is being used, but here again lever devices have to be used for separating the labels, so that the only existing apparatus of this kind operates at a low speed.

According to the present invention there is provided an apparatus for gluing labels supplied from a continuous reel of labels, to cylindrical articles, such as bottles, such apparatus comprising means for mounting a reel of labels for rotation, an intermittent brake and drive assembly for feeding labels from said reel in the form of a strip in response to signals from a device for detecting the position of the labels fed thereby, means for cutting a label from the strip when the latter is stationary, a collector for collecting a cut label therefrom, means for applying glue to said collector prior to collection thereby of a label, a rotary transfer cylinder having an at least partly perforated periphery to which vacuum can be applied, means for removing a label from said collector so that it is held by vacuum on said transfer cylinder, a counterpress'ure megrnber adjacent and spaced from said transfer cylinder, means for feeding cylindrial articles to the pas sage between the transfer cylinder and counter-pressure member and electrical control means for synchronising the operation of the brake and drive assembly and the cutting means with the position detected by the detecting device and the position of the collector.

The apparatus according to the invention affords the major advantage of not having any important parts reciprocating, and thus of permitting high speeds of operation; also it is particularly advantageous for the labelling of small cylindrical bottles, where the problem of antomatic labelling is particularly difiicult.

In order that the invention may more readily be understood, the following description is given, Zmerely by way of example, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of one embodiment of apparaus according to the invention, with the glue applying reservoir and counter-pressure member omitted for clarity;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 1, but with the glue applying reservoir and counter-pressure member included; and

FIG. 3 is a schematic circuit diagram illustrating the control circuit of the apparatus.

In the following description the preferred materials of the various components have been indicated. However various other materials could be used if so desired.

Turning now to the drawings there is illustrated a reel 1 of labels in strip form mounted on a hub 2, which is capable of free rotation about an axis 3, the reel 1 being braked by a spring strip 4. The strip of labels 1A is fed via pneumatic sensing device 5 to an intermittent brake and drive assembly. The brake portion comprises a movable brake member 6 formed of stainless steel, and a stationary brake ,member 6A which is lined with rubber. The movable member 6 is carried by a chromium plated steel cross member 12 which is mounted for reciprocation on the armature of an electric magnet 11, which is supplied with a 24 volt A.C. current.

Downstream of the brake assembly 6, 6A is an intermittent drive mechanism comprising a drive roller 7 rotating continuously at a constant speed, and a second roller 8 which is mounted for movement towards and away from said roller 7, on a lever 10 which is pivotable about an axis 10A. The roller 8, which like the roller 7 is formed of steel covered with flexible rubber, is normally urged towards the roller 7 by means of a tension spring 9. The lever 10 can be pivoted to a position in which the roller 8 is moyed away from the roller 7, by movement of the cross member 12.

Downstream of the intermittent brake and drive assembly is a cutter assembly comprising a movable tungsten steel cutter 13 and a stationary tungsten steel counter cutter 14. Movement of the cutter 13 is accompanied by the movement of a bronze roller 15 to urge the cut label into contact with a bronze single head collector 16, which is rotatable about an axis 16A, by which it is provided with a peripheral groove 16B. The periphery of the collector 16, upon each rotation thereof, comes into contact with a glue transfer roller 17B formed of steel clad with rubber, which in turn rotates in contact with the periphery of a second bronze transfer roller 17A, Which picks up glue from a brass glue tank 17. Mounted on the axis 16A of the collector 16, is a chromium plated steel cam 18, which cooperates with a cam follower roller 19 mounted on a rocker 19A pivotal about an axis 19B. A spring 19C urges the roller 19 into contact with the cam 18 and tends to close a microswitch 20 which can be opened by the raised portion of the cam 18.

Adjacent the collector '16 is mounted a hollow bronze transfer cylinder 21 clad with rubber. The surface of the cylinder is perforated with, for example, eight 4 mm. diameter holes disposed along a peripheral length corresponding approximately to the peripheral length of the collector 16. Within the cylinder 21, which is rotatable about its axis, is a stationary dividing wall 21A which is mounted on the stationary end walls 22 of the cylinder, dividing the interior of the transfer cylinder into two chambers. On one side of the dividing wall 21A and passing through one of the end walls of the cylinder is a vacuum connection V, while on the other side, the end wall has therethrough a connection M connecting that interior chamber of the cylinder to atmosphere. As the cylinder 21 rotates, the perforations are alternately placed in communication with a vacuum source and with atmosphere.

Engaged in the groove 16B in the collector 16 is a finger 23, while adjacent the side of the roller 21 remote from the connector 16, is an arcuate counter-pressure member having a flexible rubber lining 24 which is concentric with the roller 21. The counter-pressure member is urged by springs 26 towards the roller 21 and defines, with a portion of the periphery of the latter, a passage 25. A 36 mm. wide endless conveyor belt 27, formed of metallic belt woven from stainless steel wire, passes under a segment of the lower end wall of the roller 21. Moving at a velocity V1 it feeds bottles to a notched chromium plated steel distributor 28 which rotates at of the speed of the cylinder 21. Chromium plated steel guides on either side of the belt hold the fed bottles in the upright position, and a flexible rubber endless belt 29, which moves at a velocity V2, which is larger than V1, is positioned opposite a steel plate covered with rough cotton cloth glued thereto.

1n the illustrated embodiment, the strip of labels 1A is provided with notches IE on one of its sides. In operation, the strip 1A passes through the pneumatic sensing device 5, which detects the presence of a notch, a jet of air supplied by the device impinging of the diaphragm of a pneumatic capsule, which actuates an electrical contact as illustrated in FIG. 3, the strip being fed by the rollers 7 and 8. When the notch is detected electro-magnet 11 perates momentarily forcing the brake plate 6 against the plate 6A and moving the roller 8 away from the strip 1A. At the same time the cutter 13 is caused to operate by means (not shown), and a label is cut off from the t strip.

At the same time the roller 15 is placed against the cut off label, and forces it .against the periphery of the collector 16, which has just been coated with glue by the roller 17. Slight rotation of the collector 16 and the cam 18 causes the microswitch 20 to open, thus breaking the circuit of the electro-magnet 11, thereby releasing the brake and causing the roller 8 to move back into contact with the strip 1A. The strip is then caused to move forward so that the notch 1B on the strip moves out of the line of the air jet of the sensing device 5, so that the as sociated switch opens. Meanwhile the cam 18 has rotated and the microswitch 20 closes, so that the above described operation can be repeated when the next notch arrives at the sensing device 5.

As the collector 16 rotates, the finger 23 which is engaged in the groove 16B lifts the label from the collector 16, its non-glued face being applied against the apertures in the cylinder 21. At this juncture the apertures are connected to the vacuum source, via connection V, and carry the label with its glued side outermost.

In the meantime, a bottle, which has been separated from the subsequent bottle on the conveyor 27, is fed to the passage 25, where it is pressed, by the spring urged, curved rubber lining 24, against the glued side of the label carried by the transfer cylinder 21. Since the lining 24- is stationary, the bottle is caused to rotate about its own axis, so that the label is applied around its periphery. The bottle then continues on the conveyor 27, and is acted upon by the faster moving belt 29, so that it is caused to rotate further about its own axis to ensure a firm securing of the label to the bottle.

The size of the various components is, of course, to a certain extent dependent upon the size of the label and bottle or other cylindrical article. For example, with a 24 mm. high label, the height of the peripheral surface of the collector 16, which may in fact have two heads thereon, would preferably be about 23 mm. The external cylin drical surface would then have a 50 mm. radius and have a 4 mm. Wide groove 56 mm. in depth. In the particular embodiment the width of the passage 25 and the outer passage adjacent the belt 29 is 22 mm., and the height of the lateral guides and the endless belt 29 is 30 mm. Such an arrangement perrnts a labelling rate of 360 per minute.

It will be apparent that there are many possible alternative components. For example the apparatus which is situated upstream of the cutter may be arranged in a substantially vertical plane, in which case cutting has to be effected in a substantially horizontal plane. The pneumatic detecting apparatus for the marginal notches may be replaced by a device detecting some element which is a characteristic of the position of the strip of labels. This element may be a notch in which case the sensing device may be mechanical. Alternatively the detecting device may be photo electric detecting a difference in luminosity, it may be electrical detecting an electrical discontinuity in a conductive coating, or it may be magnetic detecting a change in a magnetic coating on the label. However the pneumatic detecting device is the preferred form.

The control of the brake and the roller for advancing the strip may be effected pneumatically or hydraulically, but it is preferably electrical because of the instantaneous response. The cutter may be replaced by a wheel or hot wire, for example. The electrical contact arrangements may be replaced by any other conventional construction.

Some of the advantages of the apparatus are as follows:

(1) One can use labels supplied in reels which can readily be stored in a convenient manner;

(2) Such reels can be notched and printed by a conventional device arranged upstream of the sensing device;

(3) Partly printed labels may be used and an additional printing operation can be carried out, such as the printing of a production batch number;

(4) The labels may be in a continuous strip which is not provided with perforations which permits easier pro duction of the strip of labels;

(5) Reels of labels with different diameters may be used:

(6) The reels of labels can be changed extremely quickly, no adjustment being necessary all operations being controlled by the passing of the notches or other markings;

(7) None of the elements which move the label or applies glue thereto has a reciprocating motion so that a low rate of wear results and the apparatus is easy to set (8) The label can be secured adhesievly to the entire cylindrical surface of the bottle and even with some degree of overlap;

(9) The labels may be cut accurately whatever the rate of working used or the variation in the labels used;

(10) The operation of the apparatus is not affected by variations in the strip of labels, such as variations in its thickness or in its hydrometric state;

(11) The apparatus is extremely robust and is substantially insensitive to the pressure of label cutting residues, fibres etc.;

(12) A high rate of operation can be achieved;

(13) Various widths of labels can be used; and

(14) The apparatus can easily be incorporated in a production line.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for afi'ixing labels supplied from a continuous reel of labels, to cylindrical articles, said apparatus comprising, in combination:

(a) means for mounting said reel of labels for rotation;

(b) an intermittent drive system for feeding labels from said reel in the form of a strip;

(c) a device for detecting the position of the labels fed thereby;

(d) a brake for intermittently stopping said label;

(e) means for cutting a label from said strip when the latter is stationary;

(f) a collector for collecting a cut label from said cutting means;

(g) means for applying glue to said collector prior to collection thereby of a label;

(h) a rotary transfer cylinder having an at least partly perforated peripherey;

(i) means for intermittently applying vacuum to said at least partly perforated periphery;

(j) means for removing a label from said collector whereby it is held by vacuum on said transfer cylinder;

(k) a counter-pressure member adjacent and spaced from said transfer cylinder defining a passage therebetween;

(I) means for feeding cylindrical articles to said passage; and

(in) electrical control means synchronising the operation of the brake, intermittent drive system, and the cutting means with the position detected by said detecting device and the position of said collector.

2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said intermittent drive system comprises a continuously rotating first roller, a pivotally mounted second roller and an electro-magnet operatively connected thereto effective to move said second roller away from said first roller, and wherein said brake is also operatively connected to said electro magnet effective to be actuated thereby.

3. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said device for detecting the position of the labels comprises a pneumatic device including an air jet and a diaphragm located adjacent said jet, whereby when a notch passes said air jet air therefrom impinges on said diaphragm to actuate an electric switch.

4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said collector comprises a member having a part cylindrical peripheral surface and means defining a peripheral groove in said part cylindrical surface, said member being rotatable about the axis of said part cylindrical surface.

5. Apparatus as defined in claim 4, and further comprising a stationary finger extending into said groove effective to remove the label from said part cylindrical surface.

6. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said transfer cylinder includes an annular part perforated cylindrical wall rotatable about its axis, a pair of stationary end walls located within said peripheral wall, a partition wall extending between said end walls to divide the interior of said annular wall into two chambers, means for applying a vacuum to one of said chambers through one of said end walls, and means connecting the other of the chambers to atmosphere.

7. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said collector is connected to a cam and wherein a microswitch is operated by said cam to restart said intermittent drive means.

8, Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said means for feeding cylindrical articles comprises a conveyor belt extending across a segment of the end of the transfer cylinder, and a notched distributor member rotating adjacent said conveyor belt, effective to feed said cylindrical articles in accurate spaced apart relation to said passage.

9. Apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein a belt of flexible material is arranged to move adjacent said conveyor belt at a greater speed than said conveyor belt, and wherein a stationary wall is positioned opposite said belt of flexible material, whereby said cylindrical articles are rotated about their own axes.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,279,724 4/1942 Von Hofe 156256 3,140,214 7/1964 Von Hofe 156351 3,193,431 7/1965 Seifert 156-351 SAMUEL FEINBERG, Primary Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2279724 *Feb 23, 1939Apr 14, 1942New Jersey Machine CorpArt of applying labels and machine for applying labels
US3140214 *Apr 7, 1959Jul 7, 1964New Jersey Machine CorpLabeling machines
US3193431 *Jun 7, 1961Jul 6, 1965Maurice SeifertLabeling machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4629528 *Feb 21, 1984Dec 16, 1986Shibuya Kogyo Co., Ltd.Labeling machine
DE2913538A1 *Apr 4, 1979Oct 9, 1980Jagenberg Werke AgVerfahren und vorrichtung zum etikettieren und/oder foliieren von flaschen
DE3406310A1 *Feb 22, 1984Aug 30, 1984Shibuya Kogyo Co LtdEtikettiermaschine
U.S. Classification156/364
International ClassificationB65C9/44, B65C9/08, B65C9/18, B65C9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65C9/44, B65C2009/1861, B65C9/1819
European ClassificationB65C9/18A4B, B65C9/44